Sławomir Piasecki - Python in Astronomy
[21 July 2016 / 2016-07-21]
[Bilbao, Euskadi, Spain]
I would like to talk about modern Astronomy where I would give a brief
history of Astronomy. I will answer some question:
What do we use computers for today in astronomy?
Where is Python’s place in today’s science?
Is Python is the best language for scientific computation?
I would like to give a short introduction into AstroPy module. Finally
I would like presents some result of my research where Python was used
to create data.
For ages people have been watching the sky, and tried to learn
something about all those mysterious lights. In ancient times,
scientist used mostly their naked eyes to watch what happened in the
night sky. Astronomy is one of the oldest fields in science.
Everything changed when Galileo invented his lunette. Thanks to thi,
we were able to proof Copernicus’ new model of the solar system with
the sun in the center.
The next big step in Astronomy was using computers. Where there are
computers and Astronomy, there is a place for programming. For many
years astronomers were mostly using Fortran and C/C++. Both are suited
to numeric computation and scientific computing. Since they are
structured programming language, that makes them very valuable for
Over the past decade, Python has started to be used by more and more
people in astronomy. But is there a place in Astronomy for Python, as
it is not as fast as Fortran or C/C++? In Python there is a module
called AstroPy which helps astronomers in their work.
MatPlotLib is one of the most popular library use in astronomy. This
tool helps created very sophisticated plots and graphs.
Finally I would like talk about some research I did using Python. For
research, we decided to use AUTO. It is a hybrid of Fortran and
Python, to compute bifurcation points in mathematical models. In
Python we introduce mathematical model, ODE and initial parameters.
Fortran does all the computation.